POST FALLS, Idaho — A Post Falls woman has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for stalking her ex-boyfriend and setting his home on fire.
56-year-old Kimberly Ann Brischle was also ordered to pay more than $175,000 in restitution for the damages she caused from the fire. In addition, she will serve three years of federal supervised release after she gets out of prison.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington, Brischle pleaded guilty in May 2022 and has been in federal custody since July 2021.
Court documents say Brischle began sending her ex-boyfriend a series of threatening text messages in April 2021. The next day, she broke into her ex-boyfriend's home in Spokane while he was away on business and proceeded to damage his property before starting a fire in the bedroom closet.
The Spokane Fire Department (SFD) responded and determined that the fire was set intentionally. Over the next several months, Brischle used online applications to obscure her identity while she continued to send her ex-boyfriend threatening texts and e-mails. In one message, she claimed to have paid another person to torture and mutilate him and kill his dog.
“In the information age, Internet stalking has become a significant problem that crosses state and international boundaries and subjects innocent people to serious harassment,” Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said in a statement. “As this case demonstrates, the line between online activity and real-world consequences can become blurry for some—and frankly, it is a miracle and a relief that no one was hurt by the fire in this case. Fortunately, through the collaborative work of ATF, the Spokane Police Department, the Spokane Fire Department, and the Kalispel Tribal authorities, law enforcement was able to hold the defendant accountable and prevent her from causing further damage and harassment. The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting our communities from cyber crime and physical violence to keep Eastern Washington safe and strong.”
“Arson is a heinous crime that has broad impacts, not only on those who are directly affected, but because of the risk it presents to the community as a whole,” ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jonathan T. McPherson said in a statement. “This sentence should deter anyone who contemplates engaging in the destructive, cowardly act of setting someone’s home on fire.”
The case was investigated by Spokane Resident Office of the ATF with significant assistance from the Spokane Fire Department Special Investigations Unit, the Spokane Police Department and the Kalispel Tribal Police.